Is There a Magic Weight Loss Carb?
Brown ... white ... high index -- all terms used to describe carbohydrates. But is there one that can really help you drop a few extra pounds? Oprah thinks so. See what the experts think.
Is Glycemic Index Useful? continued...
She says that fiber-rich carbohydrates increase the bulk of the
meal, making you feel fuller. This in turn, helps moderate the amount of food
So, what is fiber, exactly?
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
Nutritionists describe soluble fiber as a sticky substance that is found in
fruit, vegetables, dried beans and peas, and oat products. Insoluble fiber,
which is gritty in texture, accounts for 70% of the fiber in our diets, mostly
from wheat bran.
Benefits of High-Fiber Carbs
"We eat way too many calories and way too many empty
calories," she says. "Fiber can help you avoid overeating. We've also
found that fiber can bind with cholesterol in the digestive tract, thus
lowering blood cholesterol."
Another important point about fiber-rich foods is that they
tend to be loaded with phytochemicals that appear to have anticancer functions,
"Pertaining to cancer, we've found 65 or so non-nutrients
and nutrients that have action against cancer," she says. "We've seen
soy, lycopene, bicarbanol, to name just a few of these, have significant effect
against various cancers."
Along with these benefits and its role in weight maintenance,
fiber helps prevent the following:
- Diverticulosis -- an intestinal disease where pockets, which can become
infected, develop in the intestinal lining
The next time you have a choice about what to buy at the store
-- for instance, between fluffy, white bread and a dark, brown loaf of whole
wheat -- what do you do?
"Buy the bread that you have to drag out of the store,
because the loaf is so heavy and dense," says Kumar. "Everything comes
down to the amount of fiber you can get into your food."